I was determined to BBQ last weekend, come rain or shine. In the end we got a bit of both and I managed to grill this fowl without the need to employ the emergency umbrella technique. The jerk sauce is a work in progress right now as very annoyingly I lost my recipe which only needed slight improvement after going down well at the Tipped Winter BBQ. This sauce needs more sticky sweetness and I’m pretty sure I added tomato ketchup the first time around. Is that a crime against jerk?
The main reason I wanted to make this anyway was for the method, which I came across in Fiona Beckett’s book ‘The Frugal Cook’, when I reviewed it here. It basically involves lowering a chicken onto a half full can of beer and then gently turning it onto the BBQ. The steam from the beer keeps the bird incredibly moist – the fact that it looks funny is a bonus.
Jerk Beer Can Chicken (UPDATED RECIPE HERE)
Jerk seasoning, enough for two medium sized chickens (like I say, this is work in progress, it’s yummy but I’ll experiment with the ketchup)
4 scotch bonnet chillies, de-seeded
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
6 spring onions
8 garlic cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
2 tbsp thyme leaves
2 tbsp brown sugar
120 ml white wine vinegar
– Whack the whole lot in a food processor and slather it over the meat. Let it sit for as long as possible, ideally overnight.
The Beer Can Method (from The Frugal Cook by Fiona Beckett)
– Fiona doesn’t mention her BBQ lighting preferences but I prepare mine for cooking large bits of meat or chickens by lighting the coals in the centre, letting the flames burn off and when the coals are white hot, move them to the sides. Put a drip tray (I use a small roasting tin) in between the coals, then put the grill on top and you’re good to go.
– Drink half the beer from the can then lightly oil the can and sit the chicken on top of it (as below). Then lay it carefully on the BBQ, cover and cook for about an hour for a medium sized chicken. The bird is cooked when you pierce with a skewer at the thickest part of the leg and the juices run clear.
– Use tongs to remove the beer can and then transfer the chicken to to a warm dish. Let rest for 10 minutes or so and then serve.